The National Space Agency (NASRDA) says its collaboration with five countries has resulted in the successful completion of a global project for the design and manufacture of five identical Nano-Satellites.
Dr Felix Ale, Head, Media and Corporate Communication, NASRDA made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday .
Nano-satellites or Nano-sats are miniaturised satellites of low mass and size for gathering scientific data and to provide more comprehensive space coverage at much lower cost.
Ale said that the satellites were being proposed for launch into the orbit in May 2017 for various applications.
Ale said that the multinational satellite project known as “Bird Project“ was introduced in 2015 by the Japanese government and implemented through the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan for developing countries.
He said that the project was designed to enhance space-related capacity building and human resource development.
“A total number of 15 engineers and scientists from Nigeria, Japan, Mongolia, Bangladesh, Ghana and Thailand are selected through a competitive global process for the project,’’ he said.
Ale said that NASRDA in collaboration with the Federal University of Technology, Akure participated in the design and manufacture of the satellites billed to operate through seven ground stations across the world.
“The Nano-satellites will be launched into orbit aboard space X Rocket.
“It will be released from the International Space Station with an orbital parameter of altitude of 460km and inclination of 15.6,“ Ale said.
He said that the satellites were expected to attain six missions after its successful launch, adding that three of the missions would be planned on board.
He also revealed that the other three missions would be accomplished in the ground stations of the participating countries.
According to Ale, the other three on-board missions will consist of the taking photographs of homeland of participating countries using the on-board cameras of 0.3mp and 5mp.
Other on-board mission includes the Dig-singer mission that entails exchange of song from the Nano Satellites to Ham radio receivers (UHF band) and measurement of single-event –latch up in orbit, according to him.
He said that the project would aid the successful and regular download of images from the five satellites, while the project was also a model for achieving satellites projects with low cost and size.
He said that the project was an innovation and excellent research model for NASRDA, adding that the its completion would further assist the agency to strengthen its collaboration on research with Nigerian universities.
Ale said that three Nigerians had also benefited from capacity development from the project by receiving a Doctorate Degrees (Ph.Ds) in Space Science and Technology.
He said that the space project had ultimately resulted in the cheap, fast and duplication of satellite business and operation.